It's almost here! National Running Day is Wednesday, June 6th, and if you've been following the SPARK blog, we're positive you can tell how excited we are about this upcoming day. We've been sharing inspirational running stories from our Momentum Ambassadors, and today, we bring you one from Jama:
As International Running Day approaches, one of my favorite quotes comes to mind: “run often, run long, but never out run the joy of running.” I think the “worry less, run more” Motivate Wrap
embodies this quote, and it has become my go-to for this stage in my running career—a career that is fast approaching the three decade mark.
Surely I can’t be the only person who is their own worst critic right? I don’t understand why we, as women, always put ourselves last. Is it something we’re born with? Something we’re taught? Or, are we simply just trying to be perfectionists? I guess it doesn’t really matter.
Last September, I finished my 11th marathon. I placed 2nd in my division, but was angry with myself for not doing better. I already had my 12th marathon scheduled for three months later, so I told myself that I’d train harder, longer...whatever it took. But deep down, I was burnt out. Running wasn’t bringing me joy. Something just wasn’t right. And then I got a text from my sister. “Can I call you?” it said. I am very close to my family. Texting daily is normal, especially when one of us is on vacation as I was. A phone call? I knew it wasn't going to be good. I called her right away and she said “it’s not good news” and my heart sank. She informed me that my dad had cancer. All I wanted to do in that moment was get home and hug him. Instead, I took a walk on the beach and cried…and of course, I worried. What could I do to help? To fix this? Anything? I wanted to make everything better.
Hearing the words “dad has cancer” has a way of putting life into perspective. Of course, I didn’t figure this out right away. I was so sick with stress and worry, and I went home every chance I got. I stopped running. I stopped sleeping. I stopped eating properly. And finally, my body gave out on me.
In February, I visited my doctor for the third time in as many months. She noticed that I went from running marathons to being sick constantly—and then she informed me that I had shingles. If you know anything about shingles, you know they are awful and painful. On top of that, you can’t be around anyone who is going through chemo, like my dad was. I was unable to visit him for two months because of the shingles. During this time, I had to make a decision—worry less, run more. And that's how I learned first-hand the importance of self care. It is not selfish, but necessary. The “worry less, run more” Motivate Wrap was released as I was going through all of this mess. It quickly became a new favorite of mine, and I hope that it helps many others as well.
I’ll never run a sub-5:00 mile like I used to. I’ll probably never run a marathon under four hours again either. But I will continue to run, and I'll do it for the joy it brings to me, and to maintain my health. That's how I'll continue doing what I love. And that's how I'll be able to continue caring for the people in my life that I love.
Remember, it's not about the finish line bling.
Running is about the joy it brings to you.
To celebrate National Running Day, all of our running related Motivate Wraps and Foot Notes are on sale—including the "worry less, run more" Motivate Wrap. Now is a great time to stack your wrist with friendly reminders and inspirational words that will always and forever remind you of the joys that running can provide.